Rift

1 Mar

Giant tentacles descend from the sky, and a nearby town is demolished by overgrown sushi. That’s not enough to get you to play Rift? Alright, fine.

I was Skeptical. A game with only four classes where the story was, as far as I could tell, bad guys coming out of rifts. Didn’t sound exciting to me. However, the ever awesome Bika liked it, so I figured it must be halfway decent. And I will never turn down a chance to play some video games with her.

Hopped up on meds for my messed up knee, I logged into the game. I was immediately dazzled by the character creator (and not just because of the meds). There are sliders for the size of your character’s eyes, nose, and mouth. The color choices for hair and skin are similar to a shaded color wheel, with highlight choices for hair as well. The makeup for female characters changes drastically depending on your color choice. Alright, I figured; the folks at Trion did a pretty good job with this part.

Then I was resurrected By Science.

You see, the Gods of Telara made powerful beings called Ascendents. They failed to save the world, so the Defiant faction decided to just make their own dang Ascendents! Why not, right? So I became an Ascendent manufactured By Science and sent back to the past to save the future (don’t ask how the time machine works).

Then I got to choose a soul. Souls operate like talent trees. You can have three active at any given time, with eight possible choices. My Kelari warrior (she looks like a dark elf from Morrowind, only rocking a plate bikini) is primarily a Riftblade. She’s a dual wielding commander of the elements, but she’s still a warrior. I could have been a tank type warrior, a big two handed sword kind of warrior, a death knight kind of warrior, or several other choices. My favorite thing about Riftblade is an ability called Flaming Spear – specifically, I like flinging it at casters that try to run away from me in battlegrounds. They die, and it’s funny.

I started questing. A rift would open periodically, spilling bad dudes out. I discovered that killing the bad dudes that come out of Rifts rewards tokens for nice armor and weapons. Pretty cool!

After two hours I was completely addicted. The quests are standard MMO fare, but it’s hard to get bored when a quest hub is suddenly overrun by a Rift that’s spitting out evil guys faster than you can say “Holy crap”. Rifts open often. Often enough in fact, that if you didn’t like questing you could probably level solely by closing rifts. And you would get shinies for doing it, too.

I did battlegrounds, or Warfronts, obsessively. The first Warfront, Black Garden, is what an early battleground should be. Easy to understand, fast to win, and easily possible to make a comeback. It’s not for you if PvP in games frustrates you; but if you like PvP step right up, because Rift Warfronts are downright awesome.

This is the long way to say that I was wrong to be Skeptical. While Rift is missing some features I’d like to see (fast travel), it’s a well polished, addictive, and fun MMO. Don’t like questing? Close Rifts. Don’t like Rifts? You can PvP. Don’t like PvP? Do dungeons. There are a ton of things to do in Rift, and I imagine I’ll be playing it for quite awhile.

Besides, there are giant tentacles, and I was resurrected BY SCIENCE!

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15 Responses to “Rift”

  1. Caulle March 1, 2011 at 12:55 pm #

    Rift is amazing on so many levels. I was also skeptical at first, but I’ll play just about any MMO because regardless if the game is good or bad, there is *always* something you can learn.

    It succeeds on so many levels where other games fail. The level of polish I’ve experienced in 22 levels is unmatched. Vanilla Warcraft wasn’t half as good as Rift is.

    I’m actually so completely frustrated with Warcraft right now that I’m contemplating on canceling my account for the first time since I activated it. I’m not enjoying the content, and I’m looking for an outlet.

    I think a lot of people are in the same boat, and depending on how good the end content is this game can potentially have the largest MMO community second only to Warcraft.

    • Caulle March 1, 2011 at 12:56 pm #

      Oh man, can’t edit posts? I must be tired… “on so many levels.” >_>

    • Claire March 1, 2011 at 6:34 pm #

      I totally agree, Caulle. I played WoW at launch as well and it was nowhere near as polished as Rift is right now.

      I’m not a big fan of Cataclysm either. It reminds me of BC raiding for some reason, and I didn’t enjoy that expansion much.

      If Rift stays as good as it’s been, I know I’ll keep playing it.

      • Caulle March 1, 2011 at 7:29 pm #

        There are a lot of awesome things about Cata, but man the raid content… I have never hated raid content more in my life than I hate it right now. I would rather go move to Ulduar and share an apartment with Brann than do the current raid content. Seriously, fuck phase 3 Nefarian. I want to kill myself every time we wipe in Phase 3 because one of my adds randomly straggled behind and didn’t reset. I love getting punched in the face for 100k.

      • Verdus March 1, 2011 at 7:40 pm #

        @Caulle I’m right there with you, except I’m not even that far in. Screw Atramedes’s airborne tracking beam that starts on you and moves as fast as you do. Screw rapid-fire 1.5sec interrupt-or-die spells. I haven’t even *attempted* Chimaeron yet as a healer, and screw him anyway.

        It’s not even just raiding, either. Dreamcloth being BoP and a with week-long cooldown per element type? Screw that too. Every time I try to do something these days, the word that keeps coming back to me is “punitive”. I’ve been playing since early BC and WoW has never been this frustrating before.

        (Also, I can’t respond directly to your post for some reason. I guess three layers of replies is the limit.)

      • itanya Blade March 2, 2011 at 10:57 pm #

        I really feel like the odd one out here. I really enjoy the raids in Cataclysm. They’ve been challenging, but I have still enjoyed them.

        Rifts is interesting, but I find myself still wanting to log into wow.

        Which is sad, because so few people I like playing with are interested in WoW right now.

        So, I am stuck with liking a game that I stuck with to play with people who aren’t all that interested in playing.

        I like Rifts, don’t get me wrong, but I miss people playing WoW. Worse, I feel like if I take time to write I will get left further and further behind in rift.

  2. Feliche March 1, 2011 at 3:22 pm #

    I also looooooove Rift, and for the record — there is fast travel! The porticulums operate like a direct teleport to other porticulums in other zones, you just gotta find them first!

    • Claire March 1, 2011 at 6:32 pm #

      Yeah, that’s what bummed me out! I wanted to be really lazy and get back and forth to King’s Landing fast! 😉

  3. Chadrassa March 1, 2011 at 7:04 pm #

    I won’t be playing RIFT anytime soon. I played during the beta and found that the game is not for me. Sure, it is nice enough, but – at least for me – the Rifts became old pretty fast, and annoying to boot. The lore couldn’t hold my interest even though that of the Defiant’s sounded pretty cool. A missed opportunity.
    And then there are the people. I don’t know if the community has improved after the beta, but I don’t really care enough to bother having a look any more. The rampant agressiveness to anyone who dared to breathe that they still like WoW, the rampant misogyna I encountered on a regular basis, and the sorry state of the RP servers. If there was any moderation to protect the RP and the rpers from griefing asshats I have missed it.

    I am not dissing RIFT. The game is pretty good – it just cannot hold my attention for long.

    • Claire March 1, 2011 at 10:02 pm #

      Sorry to hear you didn’t like it! I think it’s true of any MMO that it won’t be some people’s cup of tea. For example I really dug LotRO, but some of my friends disliked it (I’m lookin’ at you, Pill).

      • Itanya Blade March 2, 2011 at 4:56 pm #

        I didn’t dislike LotRO as much as I just didn’t like it. Plus, I never liked the world enough to RP in it. It didn’t do anything for me.

        LotRo just seemed like it was going through the motions. I said the same thing about D&D. I never liked the Eberon world setting as it was. I would have prefered Greyhawk or Dark Sun to be honest.

  4. Sarai March 1, 2011 at 7:05 pm #

    I keep telling myself I don’t need to start playing another subscription game, but stuff like this is wearing away my willpower. -_-

    • Claire March 1, 2011 at 10:03 pm #

      *zombie voice* One of us…one of us…

      😉

  5. Verdus March 1, 2011 at 7:30 pm #

    I know that so far I’m enjoying the little I’ve played of it, and I have yet to see a lot of what the game has to offer. With how frustrating Cata has been, it’s nice to have an alternative with real potential.

    • Caulle March 1, 2011 at 9:27 pm #

      Man, and here I just thought my 10man were all a bunch of queens. Good to know that we’re not the only ones completely frustrated by Cata right now.

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